tv PBS News Hour PBS February 24, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. toyota's chief told congress he's deeply sorry for the safety problems that have plagued the company's cars. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the "newshour" tonight, committee members blamed c.e.o. akio toyoda and federal regulators for failing to protect the public. we'll put our own questions to transportation secretary ray lahood >> ifill: an economic update as the senate passes a jobs bill. >> warner: judy woodruff takes the pulse of the millennial generation-- those from 18 to 29.
>> when i get out of med school my goal is to be absorbed the world and brick aid to people who are you should served and underprivileged and eventually bring it back to america. >> ifill: jeffrey brown gets the story of joseph pulitzer-- the media baron who helped shape the news business from biographer james mcgrath morris. >> the very idea of purchasing news, the way it's written, the style it's written, the basis of a story being part of news are all gifts that pulitzer gave to us and changed america. >> warner: and a show of lights over the night skies of vancouver during the olympics. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's "pbs newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> every business day, bank of america lends nearly $3 billion to individuals, institutions, schools, organizations and businesses in every corner of
the economy. america-- growing stronger everyday. >> this is the engine that connects abundant grain from the american heartland to haran's best selling whole wheat, while keeping 60 billion pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere every year. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> chevron. this is the power of human energy. grant thornton. and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the president of toyota made an unprecedented appearance before a u.s. congressional committee today. he delivered an apology for the problems that forced extensive recalls of the company's cars, and promised a course correction. "newshour" correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> reporter: amid a crush of cameras, the grandson of toyota's founder made his way to the witness table before the house oversight and government reform committee. he said he takes "full responsibility" for all that has happened. >> ( translated ): i am the grandson of the founder, and all the toyota vehicles bear my name. for me, when the cars are damaged, it is as though i am as well. i, more than anyone, wish for toyota's cars to be safe, and for our customers to feel safe
when they use our vehicles. >> reporter: toyota has recalled eight million vehicles worldwide for uncontrolled acceleration and another 400,000-plus for brake issues. >> we pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that. i regret that this has resulted and i am deeply sorry for any accidents that toyota drivers have experienced. >> reporter: toyoda was initially reluctant to come to washington, but last week he acceded to pressure to appear. and he made this promise to the committee. >> you have my personal commitment that toyota will work vigorously and unceasingly to restore the trust of our customers. >> reporter: lawmakers had already laid into toyoda before he arrived. the committee's chairman, edolphus towns said the company
kept u.s. safety regulators at bay, especially nhtsa-- the national highway traffic safety administration. >> toyota's own internal documents indicate that a premium was placed on delaying or closing nhtsa investigations, delaying new safety rules, and blocking the discovery of safety defects. in fact, toyota officials bragged about saving $100 million by preventing nhtsa from finding a defect related to sudden acceleration. >> reporter: another top toyota executive, yoshimi inaba, tried to explain those internal documents to republican john mica of florida. >> because now i'm more >> it's unbelievable-- you're in charge of the company, and have that responsibility, can you
assure the committee this is not the approach now or in the future? >> because now i'm more familiar, president of the company, i am going to rectify that. >> reporter: toyoda's testimony here today was an effort to salvage his company's once- sterling image. he took the helm of the family business just last year, amid the global financial crisis. now, he's facing mounting criticism for the company's safety lapses and deepening investigations, both in japan and the united states. yesterday, the head of toyota u.s.a. acknowledged the floor mat and gas pedal recalls may not fix all of the unintended acceleration problems. and today, akio toyoda was asked whether electronic systems may be to blame. >> ( translated ): with respect
to the electronic throttle control system, the system itself has been designed based upon the philosophy of "safety first" and therefore whenever any abnormality or anomaly is detected, fuel supply is instantly cut off. repeated and conducted however no malfunction or problems were identified based upon the tests conducted internally within toyota. >> reporter: earlier, transportation secretary ray lahood promised to investigate every possible cause and he said he considers all cars on the recall list as "not safe." under questioning, lahood insisted the federal stake in detroit automakers does not create a conflict of interest. >> i don't think it's out of line to question and at least caution that the department of transportation and nitsa be extremely careful in how they accept and deal with complaints that come in to ensure that government isn't taking sides in an area where we have a big investment.
>> i don't buy this argument that because the government owns 60% of g.m. that we're going to turn a blind eye to that, that is nonsense. we would never do that. it'll never happen under my watch, i guarantee you that. >> reporter: in the meantime, japanese officials announced plans today to open their own investigation into acceleration problems in toyotas and other vehicles. >> ifill: for the record, toyota is an underwriter of the "newshour." we take a closer look now at the government's role in all of this. transportation secretary ray lahood spent the better part of the day testifying on capitol hill. he joins me now. welcome, mr. secretary. when did toyota and when in fact did you know about the problems that led to this safety recall? >> well, we knew that there were problems with the floor matz several years ago, prior to me becoming secretary , and we've
alerted drivers and owners of these toyotas to this. for some time, but we found that they really weren't paying much attention to it, so we asked toyota to have another recall. but when it came, really, to the idea that it wasn't just the floor mat, it was a sticky pedal that's when our people went to japan-- we went to north america toyota. we said, look, this is serious stuff. you need to start taking this seriously. we need another-- we need a recall here. and that's when we really felt that we needed to go to japan and talk directly with the people in japan about this. >> ifill: normally, how do companies, how are companies like toyota-- but even domestic car companies-- how are they held accountable? how are they accountable? how can they say, "we won't do anything about this until you come to japan and demand that we do something?" >> we have subpoena power to get all kinds of information. we also have the authority to make them do the recall. we ask them to do it voluntarily
and if they won't, then,, you know, we require them to do that. they have to come to to us with a 76. we don't necessarily sign off on it. then the recall begins. when we discovered people really weren't paying attention to it, we went back and told them they had to issue more notices to the owners of these cars. >> ifill: you said today you get about 30,000 complaints a year. how many rise to the level of what we're seeing now? >> well, in this instance, -- let me just put it this way-- over the last three years, 23 million cars have been recalled, and the majority of them weren't toyotas so, you know, the notion somehow we're just picking on toyota is not true. over the last three years, 23 million cars have been recalled for some kind of a safety problem. >> ifill: are there other defect investigations under way, not only involving toyota but other companies as well? >> yes. >> ifill: how many involving toyota? >> right now there are three recalls and two investigations going on. >> ifill: and do we know when we're supposed to hear what the results of those are? are there more recalls likely to
happen in the next few weeks? >> one of the things we don't really have an investigation on but i've taken by cues from congress and others, people believe there is an electronics problem. if there is we need to get toyota to address that . >> ifill: you said-- >> every complaint, all 30,000 complaints that we get every year, we pay attention to them. some come from people that drive cars. some come from others. some come from automotive organizations. we take every one serious le, and when we really see a pattern we immediately begin the review, and ultimately, turn into an investigation. >> ifill: that's what's happened on your watch. you can guarantee that's what's happened before you took over this job? >> look, i'm forward looking. and i think, as i said, if
anybody has ever seen any of my speeches for the last 13 months, it's on safety. we owe that to the people, trains, planes, and automobiles-- we just owe it to them. when people get in a car or a plane or a train they want to know it's going to be safe. >> ifill: you're forward looking but a lot of investigation has been about what happened up until now including people who lost their lives in these kinds of accidents. is there any way to know if there was something the government should have been doing, lessons you can learn based on the way it was handled before? >> base on the information we have from toyota, i believe our people did a good job. but we released and asked for a huge amount of information going back to '04, in case they hadn't provided that. that would be a problem. it rail would be. and based on the information that our people have, i think they did a good job. >> ifill: some lawmakers today asked you questions about the so-called revolving door, members of-- members of nitssa, people who have worked for nitss to who went to work for the company and still are working fur
the company. do you think that affected in any way the ability to police toyota? >> we looked back on that. there's no violation of law. the laws were followed for exiting and going to work for a company. i think that law needs to be tightened up. i really do. i think the object optic of that is not good. i don't like the optic of that. i really don't. i don't like the optic that somebody thinks we have a sweetheart deal with former employees. >> ifill: no laws were broken but you don't know whether there's any connection between the presence of these. >> we don't believe there's any connection, but i told members of congress, if they do, there will have to be an investigation by the i.g.. >> ifill: based on what you now know, the thousands of documents which have surfaced, the investigation we saw today, the testimony we've seen, do you believe that toyota misled the public? >> i think that they were safety deaf. i think they should have been listening. i think toyota in twokio should have been listening to the north american people that they hire
who are very good people, very professional people. i don't know until we went there and told them how serious it was. i got on the phone with mr. toyoda, and i said you need to take this seriously. i think once that happened , they finally got it. i think mr. toyoda, being in america today, being in washington today apologizing, is a very good first step. but they have a long way to go to gain credibility gaenl with car buyers. >> ifill: what's the next step? for instance, there was some conversation today about black boxes, or the equivalent of black boxes, in cars which toyota-- toyotas which are on the road in the united states, and the degree to which people like n.h.t.s.a. can't get access to the information? >> i think first of all we have to make sure everybody who has a car on that list takes it to the dealer and gets it fixed under the recall. i think, secondly, we need to look at the electronics. i think toyota really needs to persuade the public now, the people that have bought their cars in the past, their number
one priority is safety. that's our number one priority, but people have to be convinced it's toyota's. and i think they took a very good first step today, but i think there are other things they need to do. with respect to equipment, whether it should be put on or not, we're going to look at that. we're going to see if that's something that we should be requiring of all car manufacturers. >> ifill: how do we as consumers know that this sort of thing isn't happening with other manufacturers as well, whether they be foreign auto makers or domestic? >> i think they have to put a certain amount of faith and trust in those of us that work in these safety organizations. i hope people will do that. i think we have a very good track record of taking cars off the road that are not working purposely. and really looking out for the safety of the public , and i can't see anything where anybody could accuse. on our watch, the fact we haven't taken these safety issues very, very seriously. >> ifill: there's that term again, "on our watch." >> look, i think this-- i think
mr. toyoda would not be here today if it weren't for ray lahood calling him and our people going to japan and telling them that this is serious. i hope people trust that that is our priority. >> ifill: are there penalties likely to be attached if in the end it turns out that toyota willfully or inadvertent ly misled investigators, misled consumers, misled its own dealers? >> yes, we are looking at that. we are looking at civil penalties against toyota if we find they misled us, which in turn misled the people that drive their cars. >> ifill: ray lahood, secretary of transportation, thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> warner: and still to come on the "newshour": an economic snapshot; a portrait of a generation of young people; reporter, politician and media baron joseph pulitzer and the spotlights over vancouver. but first, the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: wall street racked up gains today after the federal reserve chairman, ben bernanke, said interest rates need to stay low. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 91 points to
close at 10,374. the nasdaq rose 22 points to close near 2,236. public and private sector workers walked off the job across greece today. it was the second 24-hour strike in the last two weeks aimed at a government austerity plan. demonstrators clashed with police in athens, after a peaceful march had ended. they were protesting plans to cut government spending because of a debt crisis. greece has announced wage freezes, bonus cuts and pension reform over the last month to save almost $7 billion. the u.s. house has stepped up the pressure on health insurance companies. it came a day before the president's bi-partisan summit on health care reform. health correspondent betty ann bowser has the story. >> this meeting will come to order. >> reporter: the target at a house hearing today was wellpoint-- the parent company of california's anthem blue cross. >> corporate executives at wellpoint are thriving but its policy holders are paying the
price. >> reporter: california democrat henry waxman zeroed in on anthem's proposal to raise rates up to 39%. some 700,000 individual policy holders would be affected. wellpoint says that its rate increases have nothing to do with increasing company profits. we have learned that in 2008, wellpoint paid 39 senior executives over a million dollars cash, each. and the company spent tens of millions of dollars more on expensive corporate retreats. wellpoint's chief executive angela braly defended her company's actions. she said insurers are not the source of the problem. >> the rise in health care costs and healthy people opting out of the system when other issues arise, such as the tough economic times we are experiencing today. these factors led to the rate
increases you have seen from our company and others in california. >> reporter: later, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius announced she's calling in leaders of five major health insurance firms to explain their rising premiums. >> sreenivasan: the full house voted today to repeal the health insurance industry's exemption from federal anti-trust laws. the move may have little practical effect, since states already regulate the companies. former vice president dick cheney was released from a washington hospital today. he suffered a mild heart attack earlier this week. but a spokesman said today mr. cheney is "feeling good", and plans to resume his normal schedule soon. the former vice president is 69 years old. he has had five heart attacks in his life. in afghanistan, u.s. marines and afghan troops worked to clear the last significant pocket of taliban fighters in marjah. and, the afghan human rights commission reported 28 civilians have been killed in the offensive. nato has confirmed 16 civilian
deaths. also today, intelligence officials in pakistan said a u.s. drone attack in north waziristan killed eight militants from an afghan taliban faction. the pakistanis also announced they will hand over the afghan taliban's number two leader to afghan authorities. he was captured in recent weeks. a court in milan, italy has convicted three google executives of violating the privacy of a boy with autism. it was the first criminal trial of its kind. footage of the boy being bullied by teenagers was posted on google video's web site in 2006. the company argued it took down the video immediately after being notified. but prosecutors said viewers had flagged it much earlier. a top google executive promised an appeal. >> none of these three employees had anything to do with this video. they didn't upload it, they didn't film it, they didn't review it, and yet they have been found guilty, and so if this is let to stand, we believe that it would threaten the very
freedom that the internet has brought about. >> sreenivasan: the executives are not based in italy. they were convicted in absentia and they do not face jail time. at the winter olympics in vancouver, canada, there was more action on the ice, in the quarterfinals for men's hockey with the u.s. facing switzerland. the americans won two, nothing to advance. and sweden took gold in the men's cross-country ski relay. those are some of the day's main stories. i'll be back at the end of the program with a preview of what you'll find tonight on the "newshour's" web site. but for now, back to margaret. >> warner: now, the economy. lawmakers took action on a scaled-back employment bill amid continuing signs of a weak recovery. the senate's latest effort to boost the economy-- a $35 billion bill aimed squarely at job creation-- passed easily today. democrats, like california's barbara boxer, said it could create a quarter of a million jobs. >> the vote on this was 70 to 28
and this is a very strong signal that people are now focused on what we need to do as americans, not as democrats but as american >> warner: the bill would exempt businesses that hire the unemployed from paying their social security payroll taxes through december, at a cost of $15 billion. companies would also get an additional $1,000 tax credit for those workers who stay a full year. the bill further includes about $20 billion in funding for highway and mass transit projects. the measure now returns to the house, which has passed a much more expensive version. but senate majority leader harry reid said he's also planning a larger package of jobless benefits, state medicaid assistance and tax breaks that could cost $100 billion. >> we need to do more. we have other things in mind. remember, we don't have a jobs bill. we have a jobs agenda. >> warner: 13 republicans crossed party lines to vote for the bill, including the newest senator, scott brown of
massachusetts. but others, like senator judd gregg of new hampshire, denounced the measure. >> i understand that the issue of the economy is critical, and the issue of getting people back to work is critical. but i don't think you get people back to work in this nation by loading more and more debt onto the next generation. i think, probably, you create an atmosphere where folks that are willing to go out and invest and create jobs are a little >> reporter: all of this came as consumer confidence fell in february, by the most in 10 months. the decline was driven by concerns about jobs. and new home sales hit a record low last month, despite recent improvements in other housing indicators. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke forecast a continued slow recovery today, in his twice-a-year economic report to congress. he said record-low interest rates are still essential to help promote hiring. >> some recent indicators job losses have slowed considerably, and the number of full-time jobs in manufacturing rose modestly in january. notwithstanding these positive
signs, the job market remains quite weak, with the unemployment rate near 10% and job openings scarce. >> warner: bernanke said again that previous stimulus efforts helped save jobs. at the same time, he said he agreed record-high federal deficits have to come down. and at a separate house hearing, treasury secretary tim geithner acknowledged the debt problem, but said stimulus spending is crucial to the economy right now. >> without confidence that we can bring down our long-term deficits, it will be harder to make sure we are getting americans back to work and improving economic security. >> warner: elsewhere in washington, president obama defended his push for tax policies to encourage companies to hire at home. >> my interest is to reward-- or at least not disadvantage-- companies who are creating more jobs and doing more business within the borders of this
country. that's not anti-business, it's pro-america, and i don't apologize for it. >> warner: the president also appealed for businesses to support financial reforms to prevent another near collapse in the banking and financial systems. the federal deposit insurance corporation reported yesterday that 700 more banks are now at risk of iling, the most in 16 years. for more on these economic developments, we turn to neil irwin-- business reporter with the "washington post." neil, welcome. let's start with the jobs bill. people on the floor today were saying it will create a quarter of a million jobs. is that the best estimate and are there questions about how lasting these job will be? >> the numbers are all over the place. it's truly a guessing game with these kinds of giant bills. what's interesting about this one is it designed to encourage businesses to hire and hire right away.
it's a tax break, if they hire people who have beeninoid for two months or more, but if you think about it , if you're base, you do better-- you get more tax savings if you hire somebody now than if you wait a cowl of months. if it becomes law and the house still has to figure out what they're going to do with it, it is something that should add some significant number of jobs. the question is whether those last and i think no one knows the answer to that for sure. >> warner: in other words, employers could make temporary hires. >> they could , and there are all kinds of ways to game the system. one issue is thousands and thousands of jobs are created, people are hiring every day. it's not that all the tax benefits of this go purely to people creating new jobs. a lot of unintended consequences and it will be interesting to see what the effects are. >> warner: in the context that eight million jobs have been shed from the economy in this period of time, why is the senate bill so small? >> well, there was this whole saga. there was , as the segment
mentioned, the house passed a much larger bill, and the senate was negotiating on something much larger as well. in fact, they seem to have a bipartisan deal. a lot of liberals did not like that deal. they thought there were too many giveaways to corporations and things that would not have a bang for the buck and create jobs. harry reid agreeed and said we're going to scrap that and do these smaller bills. as you heard, they're suggesting this is just the beginning. they'll do a series of them. the question is whether the house will go along and whether they can get these things passed. >> warner: now, if you look at the way consumers are feeling, if you look at the consumer confidence report released yesterday or today , if it didn't appear that consumers are persuaded that job growth is right around the corner. >> that's for sure. it was a very disappointing number that came out yesterday on consumer confidence. apparently, you know, even as there are these signs that the economy has been growing since last summer, it hasn't grown very fast and people don't have great confidence in their ability to find a job, their ability to keep their current job.
people are not really ready to make those big purchases. they aren't comfortable this recovery is for real and until that changes we won't have a stand period of growth as chairman ber nanny said. eventually the private sector will have to take over. it's not enough to have stimulus. the private sector will have to take over and american consumers will have to do what they do best, which is consume. >> warner: there was also the report about housing sales, new home sales being the lowest ever last month. yet, in december we had, what, seven straight months of house price increases. so how do those two scare? >> really a mixed picture right now on housing. it looks like the worst of the housing collapse seems to be over. things have stabilized a lot over the last several months, certainly in pricing, as you mentioned. there was's little uptick in prices around the country last december. it's not enough for prices to go up. people have to have the confidence to make that purchase and clear out this inventory. we still have a lot of foreclosures happening.
so you still have people just fearful of whatalize ahead and they're not willing to make that biggest of investments most people make which is buying a house. >> warner: given all of this, it's not surprising that chairman ber nanny can a rather sober tone? >> that's certainly true. he laid out an idea that is not new. he's been saying for some time we seem to have an expansion. the job market is still in really bad shape. we are growing, but we need to grow faster. what he restated which has been clear for a while, that the federal reserve is going to keep interest rates for as low as they can for a while longer. >> warner: he did have an olive branch for congress . >> congress doesn't like the bailout and what the fed did with their regulatory powers before the crisis. there is a lot of anger and it almost cost bernanke getting reappointed. he came bearing gifts saying i
will work with you, congress, on find ways of better disclosures from companies benefitting from the special lending programs--. >> warner: which he has resisted. >> he said aye find ways to do more auditing and review of what the fed does as long as you wall off monetary funding. >> warner: as you said, of course, harry reid, as we said in the setup, he is promising more. now, what are the prospects for getting additional bipartisan votes? did you have, i think, 13 republican s voting for the one today. getting additional bipartisan votes on some of the other job-stimulating measures reid would like to push through? >> i think it depends what they push with. i think reid is trying to put republicans on the spot over and over this year saying we want to pass something, we want a bipartisan vote, but you, republican senators, have to go back to your state why the unemployment rate is extremely high. i know you won't like this, but
i'm going to dare you to vote against it. it worked in the bill the senate passed today with 70 votes. he got 13 republicans. it's an interesting call whether future bills get the same kind of support. >> warner: is there also a strategy here that he's trying to avoid a sticker shock of a really big bill so he's doing this in smaller increments? >> i think that's exactly right. people have held the $800 billion of the original stimulus last year over democrats' heads and use it to criticize them. and i think the idea of a series of smaller bills helps. also i think they like to dominate the agenda. they like for headlines in the news, to say democrats are working on a jobs bill. if they do a bunch of different bills that keeps them busy all year. >> warner: i hadn't thought of that.jú r, thank you so much. >> ifill: now, a demographic profile of a generation and to judy woodruff. >> woodruff: they are 18 to 29 there are some 50 million of them, and they're often called the millennial generation. and today, they were the subject of a conference at the newseum
in washington, d.c. the event-- for which i served as moderator-- coincided with the release of a comprehensive national study so-called "millennial generation," conducted by the pew research center. among its findings: millenials are the most diverse generation in u.s. history-- only 61% are white; 19% hispanic; 13% black and 5% asian. that contrasts with those 30 and older, a group that is 70% white, the study also found that millennials are voracious users of new technologies from smart phones to social networking sites. when respondents were asked if they sleep with their cell phone nearby-- 83% of millennials said they did, far more than their parents or grandparents, far >> i just got my iphone for christmas actually from my boyfriend. it's probably my favorite possession. it's the best possession i have ever owned. it just blows my mind everyday every thing that i can do.
>> i text about 150 times a day, i go check my email everyday-- facebook, myspace, twitter, you know all the social sites, iphone, i play video games all the time. >> woodruff: the report also found that millennials are the most liberal generation and have different views about the role of government. they are the only generation for which a majority of respondents said government should do more, rather than less. >> after seeing some of the stuff that happened in the previous administration, i really feel there's a lot we can do this time around. and it's not necessarily going to be all private sector, it's going to be the government. there's only so much microsoft or google as an individual can say, versus america as the aggregate. >> my goal is medicine, and i'm right when i get out of med school my goals is to go around the world and help people that are underserved and
underpriviledged in foreign countries and eventually bring it back to america for people in my own home country, my own home state, you know, just basically promoting education promoting awareness and helping improve the life quality of other people. it just seems like the main goal of having a good life and helping other people get there too. >> warner: and that willingness to serve-- another characteristic of the millennial generation. and a note: the pew survey is a follow-on to work pew collaborated on with the newshour a few years ago, looking at millennials, under the heading of generation next. we are joined now by two key contributors to the study: paul taylor is the executive vice president of the pew research center, and a former political reporter. and amanda lenhart-- she directs the pew internet and american life project's research on teens, children and families. thank you both for being here. it's good to be with you today. paul, pew has been interested in this subject for several years. i know because we've worked with you. why this study?
>> well, why this generation? arguably, this is the most consequential generation of young adults , perhaps since the baby boomers made a lot of noise in the 60s. this generation is also making a lot of noise. it made a tremendous amount of noise politically in 2008 when it voted more differently from older voters than at any time since 18- to 20-year-olds have had a vote and they turned out in very big therebys. politically, they may be in a slightly different place 15 months later than they were then but they have sent a message. we intend to be involved in the political process. we have very strong views. they are more liberal than their elders. they are more democratic-- capital d.-- than their elders. but as you pointed out, they are different in other ways. the technology use. we are all going through a digital revolution. the young adults are geting there faster than the rest of us
and doing more different things. and then they are-- they're tolerant, they're tolerant of new arrangements. they're tolerant of immigrants. they're tolerant of new family arrangements, gay couples raising children, interracial marriage-- it all seems natural to them. and, finally, just in terms of how distinctive they are, they are a very expressive generation. the new technology gives them the ability to go on a digital platform and say to their friends or the people they care about, "here's what i'm doing right now. here's a video of what diyesterday," and they take advantage of that. you also see their expression, however, in their off-line behaviors as well. i noticed one of the fellas in your setup piece is sporting a tattoo on his neck. 38% of this age group has a tattoo. and of those who have a tattoo, one is not enough. half have two to five, and 18% have six or more. so they-- they're out there. they want to let us know who they are. and they want to use all means of-- that are available to them
to get there. >> woodruff: so many things to talk about with this generation. amanda lenhart, i want to talk to you about the technology piece because that's what you focus on. they practically were born with a cell phone at their side. we saw how much they like to sleep with one nearby. talk about, explain what that's all about. >> well, as paul mentioned, this generation uses a tremendous amount of technology. they really lead the way with most major technologies that you can think of, whether that's using your cell phone just to make calls. that's using your cell phone to text message or even using your cell phone to go on line. they're also big leaders in, as paul said, expressing themselves on line and connecting with others on line, through things like social networks, connecting with friends. it's really an important part of their lives, but i think it's important to remember that they're not controlled by this technology. it's something we talked about today in the event that you and i were at, where, you know, young adults both use the technology as it's presented to them, as designers created the
technology, but they themselves also change the technology in the way that they use it, in ways in fact the designers maybe never anticipate. >> woodruff: three-fourths of them use social networking like facebook and similar. >> absolutely. it's incredibly important. and it really does drive a lot of the ways that teens are communicating with each other. we actually saw in our research a decline in bloging. and we think a lot of it has to do with the rights of certain kinds of social networks that ask for people to participate and talk with each other through particular ways, through short message updates , through micro-bloging. >> woodruff: this is a generation raised in fairly prosperous times, but now they're hit by this great recession. i think it was 38% of them don't have a job or are out of the workforce all together, have stopped looking. and yet how they're dealing with that or how they look upon that
is interesting. >> you're absolutely right. our data suggests they are less likely to have a full-time job than people of the same age in 2006. they're more likely to have recently lost a job, and they're also more likely to stay in school to stay out of the workforce. >> woodruff: and, paul, this attitude-- i saw one part of the poll-- i think it said 80-some percent of them-- almost 90%, overwhelmingly say they think at some point in their lives they'll earn enough money, they'll be okay. >> this is what is striking. the 18- to 29-year-olds in terms of unemployment have been hammered more than any other age group by this recession. they either can't get the first rung on the job ladder or if they got one, theatre first to go when layoffs come. as you said, a record share are either unemployed or out of the workforce, 37%. the flip side of that coin is a record share are in college. this generation is on track to become the most-educated
generation in our history. some of that say long-term trends. it's a knowledge-based economy. everybody knows that and you have to go get your congressionals. some of that is a short-term reaction to the fact, look, i can't get a job anyway. i might as well go to school. one in eight of them have boomer ranged back to mom and dad--. >> woodruff: living back home. >> living with their parents. what you mentioned is really quite striking. in spite of these hard economic times-- and there's a lot of economic research that says if you start out in your life in your 20s in a bad economy like this, those effects are likely to ling wer you in terms of being behind , in terms of earnings and career for a decade or more. in spite of all that, they are far more optimistic than older adults about their own economic future, and they feel better about the state of the country. this is a very confident generation. maybe some of it is -- is youth. young people think they're invincible. but i think some of that is also
the cult expurt times in which they have been raised. they have been told by their parents they're special. they need to be protected. and they believe that. >> woodruff: i want to touch, paul, quickly, again, on something you said earlier and that is the politics. they say generation that did vote 2:1 for barack obama, and they still like him . when you ask what they think-- i mean, the support for him personally is not dropped off as much as it has for older generations. but their impression of the democratic party, or their identification with the democratic party has shown slippage. >> it has shown slippage, and their job approval over the course of 2009 as the country's ratings of president obama of what kind of job he is doing, they have come down for all age groups, millennials among them. millennials are coming down from a higher height and they're not coming down quite as far. but , listen, they bought into barack obama and his message of change big time, and it's a year later, and they haven't seen that much change, and they're asking themselves
are we geting what we thought we god got? and is politics table to deliver what we thought it might be able to with a change agent like barack obama? >> woodruff: i was gog say very quickly, amanda, technology was a part of that. >> absolutely. you know, certainly technology played a huge role in mobilizing young people and getting them engaged and enthusiastic because that's where young people go now to do things like find things about news and politics on line and engage in others, so, absolutely, politics was a huge driver and tech noflgs a huge way of getting people involved. >> woodruff: so much to look at about this generation. it's fascinating. sarah palin, amanda lenhart, thank you both so much for coming in. >> thank you. >> warner: next, the hungarian who transformed american journalism. jeffrey brown has our book conversation. >> sreenivasan: many know the prize, but what of the man
behind. joseph pulitzer was a pennyless immigrant to arrive in the u.s. in 1864 speak no english. he became a reporter, a politics and most of all, a media baron who helped shape the history of the news business. his story is told in a new buying ography it's pulitzer, a life in politics." author james mcgrath morris joins me now. welcome to you. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: you say right at the beginning of this book that joseph pulitzer was the midwife to the birth of the modern mass media. what does that mean? >> i struggle with that word. pulitzer was the central man who reshaped the american media. others were involved in that, hearst his great imitator. but putitzer changed it enl tyler the very idea of purchasing news, the way it's written, the style it's written, the basis of a story being part of news were all gifts pulitzer gave to us and changed america and politics. >> brown: he was in some ways an
unlikely figure for this role. >> very unlikely. he came here not speaking any english. he moved to sluice because he spoke german and st. louis was a german city, and at that time, journalism and politics were two sides of the coin. the two papers were the missouri democrat and the missouri republican. those papers were sponsored and paid for and this was the beginning of the independent press movement, the notion that a newspaper by a mean other than political contributions and that represented the people. that's why we got a whole new style of journalism , the notion of objectivity, the very notion of journalism as a public service are all legacys of pulitzer. >> brown: he started in st. louis in journalism and politics as a kind of reformer. >> very much so. >> brown: very passionate about things he wanted to change at the local level. >> particularly corruption. st. louis, like most major american cities at that time, the county government was incredibly corrupt. and pulitzer saw journalism as a
means to reform-- it was an extension of politics, by in a sense shining the light on the dark recesses of government and exposing what was going on was a means of reform. some of his greatest journalistics cues were muck like i.f. stone in the 1950s. all he was doing was publishing publicly available information. for instance, he published the tax returns of the richest people in st. louis revealing they claimed they had no money. and that's very much the kind of thing pulitzer did, created journalism that was talked about instigate reform, and cover the reform. >> brown: now, to fast forward. he moved to new york and takes over the new york world. it's hard almost to fathom how influential and important that became. you used some examples there, but give us a sense. >> dia little math recently, and if the "new york times" be comparably influential in circulation alone it qoof to increase its circulation at 300%.
>> brown: and it's pretty influential. >> very much so. i found in the archives letters from candidates for governor from states like oregon applying to puleiter's paper for an endorsement. the "new york times" does not endorse candidates, governors from other states. so it had tremendous influence. the election of cleveland, the world was responsible--. >> brown: how did he build it into that? it was not that when he took over. there became a kind of style, signature, whatever, formula. what was it? the pulitzer magic was to begin to write about the urban world , particularly its lower class and its middle class, in a way that represented the interests. before his time, newspapers were boring. you had to read the entire letter from london to find out the country mean war was over. when you picked up a pulitzer paper, it had huge headlines, dynamic story of interest, something that pulitzer's
message to his reporters was give me something that everybody will be talking about that night at the dinner table. so what he did is he began to cover the lives of these immigrants coming to new york. and, you know, if you go into anybody's house today and go to their refrigerator. what are you going to find? a clipping of their son's achievement, their daughter's achievement. the achievement existed but the clipping gave it a kind of reality. pulitzer was digifying the lives of people and they saw in that paper something for them. there was a symbiotic relationship. he wrote about them and took their pennys to make their fortune. >> brown: and yet the arc is the passionate reformer against corruption in st. louis and new york to what we all now know as yellow journalism, and that's part of the lexus as well. >> it's part of the legacy. it's somewhat an unfair rap on pulitzer. it is true that he and hearst in this incredible circulation war napapers engaged in sensationalism and fabrication of all kinds of sort. that may be the hidden motive
and why he endowed the columbia journalism school and the pulitzer prize, in an attempt to cleanse himself. i like to think of them, pulitzer and hearst, very much like sherlock holmes and professor moriarty involved in the struggle in the final chapter where they both go off the cliff together. pulitzer is wrapped up in the sensationalistic charge but in some ways it's misplaced. hearst outdoes pulitzer. >> brown: here we are at another time of enormous change in the newspaper and journalism. you spent six years with this fellow , pulitzer. what insight from him and his time, lessons do you take to ours? >> well, as a passionate consumer of journalism, i worry about this all the time. i jokingly say that pulitzer would be twitering. and what i mean by that is that pulitzer was not an edison. he didn't invent things. he this hthis clear sense of trends, things that were going on.
when he bought his first newspaper, he bought an afternoon paper. he noticed people had gas like, electric light and were working in the evenings. he noticed workers coming off the farm and riding the trolleys and needing something. and he noted the invention of the telegraph. so he could publish news in the afternoon in salt lake city of what happened in congress that morning. mean the next day's paper had yesterday's news. and that's one of the kinds of things-- and the thing he kept telling his reporters was to pay attention to content. the medium is not the message. it's what's in it. and if you read the journalism he inspired, it never lost track of the fact that its basis is a story, much like the dickens of his world. everything had to have a narrative drive, that kind of colorful adjectives that drove people to read it. and i think that in some ways was the magic. he kept getting back to the story. and i think in some ways, with
the cacophony of sound we have in multimedia presentations we're losing the narrative that drives us to listen and read stories. >> brown: but story is still the key. >> exactly. >> lehrer: james mcgrath morris, nice to talk to you. >> a pleasure, thank you. >> ifill: finally tonight, a spectacular light show in vancouver, canada created by you. the artist behind the project tells the story. >> my name is ham rafael lozano-hemmer. this takes place over english bay in downtown van tufr. it's basically 20 robotic searchlights s, the brightest in world , placed along the shore, and creates huge light sculptures over the sky, with the trick that the light sculptures are in fact designed by anybody. you log on to the viktorial vancouver dot net and see a three-dimensional
representation of vancouver and you can select individual searchlightss and point them, move them, in any direction you want and create pyramids over the skyline of vancouver. and once you're happy with your design, you basically sign it. you put your name, your location maybe a dedication to somebody, and you submit it to vancouver, where it was received and every 12 to 15 seconds, a new design appears in the night sky, exactly as the participant had planned it from his or her computer. and finally, what happens is the system photographs this design with four cameras that are placed in the site, and builds a web page automatically for each participant. so you go to your personal web site, which documents what you have done. the piece is kind of like public space of it self. people can sign their designs. they can make comments. they can add all sorts of dedications to their web page. oftentimes what people do is use this almost as an electronic postcard to send this to
somebody with a dedication. the difference being the postcard is made out of 200,000 watts of power and it can be seen in vancouver from a 10-mile radius. the goal of vectorial elevation is to make the solitary world we inhabit during our work or studies, where we're connected individually to a computer with our keyboard and it's not a particularly connective kind of experience , to something that is more social or more connective, something that all of a sudden, you're working through your web site to makeshift your light sculpture, but then it actually gets realized in real space to be viewed by millions of people, the entire urban landscape is transformed through people's participation. people are authors. they, themselves, are the ones who are controlling this massive technology. so the capability for people from all over the planet to log on and have that kind of shared experiences of importance. the pieces are every night from 6:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m..
and there's no beginning and no end. what we see is people sort of strolg and looking at the size of these light sculptures and it's been very positive. we've now recorded designs from 141 different countries. and that's a record for us. the project had been staged before in different cities. it started in mexico city. then we took it to victoria, which is the capital city of the basque country in spain. then we took it to leon in france, and finally, dublin, ireland. i guess this olympic message really did go around the world and so that's the really exciting part, too, to see that it's not just a local project for the city of vancouver, but that people from not only all region of canada but also the world can take part. >> warner: the light show in vancouver continues until the last day of the olympics february 28. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day: the president of toyota told congress he is "deeply sorry" for a spate of safety problems. the senate passed a scaled-back jobs bill.
and federal reserve chairman ben bernanke said interest rates need to stay low to aid the recovery. >> ifill: the "newshour" is always online. hari sreenivasan, in our newsroom, previews what's there. hari? >> sreenivasan: we have analysis about the millenials, find a link to read the pew research center's full report. take a quiz to see how you compare to the millenial generation and watch judy's series on generation next. plus on "art beat," actor ethan hawke talks about his latest project-- directing a revival of sam shepard's 1985 play, "a lie of the mind." and be sure to check the "newshour's" site during the day tomorrow where we'll be live blogging during the president's bipartisan health care summit. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. gwen? >> ifill: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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